Universal basic income would cost over $85 billion per year: PBO


Introducing a universal basic income (UBI) would cost the government over $85 billion and raise taxes on the middle class according to a new report from the Parliamentary Budget Office. The report released on Wednesday estimates that providing a universal basic income would cost $85 billion if introduced this year, or approximately 25% of the federal budget. The PBO based their model off of the 2017 Ontario basic income pilot project, which guaranteed working-age individuals and couples at least $16,989 and $24,027 per year, respectively. The model excludes giving guaranteed income to seniors. While providing benefits to the poorest 40% of Canadians, the report found that the top 60% of households will actually lose money as the government would raise taxes and cut other benefits to provide UBI. “Families with a single working-age adult between the second and fifth quintiles of the income spectrum incur the biggest loss among all families (a percentage loss between -9.5% and -2.7% for a single adult with children and between -7.0% and -1.4% for a single adult without children),” the report reads.

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